Lorry driver confronted by 'rats as big as cats' while self-isolating in cab

A lorry driver who had to self-isolate in his cab after testing positive for Covid-19 says he saw “rats as big as cats”. John Hanna, known as “Sticks”, stayed in his truck for three days as he frantically tried to find accommodation to spend the 10-day quarantine period in. He had to park up in a rubbish-strewn back street where huge rodents were running up his wheels and gnawing at the wiring.

The dad-of-three, from Northern Ireland, was on a two-week job transporting chicken fat to a dog food factory in Boulogne, France. He took a coronavirus test at Burtonwood services, near Warrington, Cheshire, on the M62 on Tuesday, the Liverpool Echo reports.

John Hanna, pictured with (left to right) son Benjamin, 20, wife Audreyann, 42, daughter Yvonne, 17, and (in front) son Jason, six

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It came back positive and he was told he had to self-isolate for 10 days. But he was far from home and the only roof over his head was the lorry he drove.

John, 42, had to park up at a variety of locations with no toilet facilities while he tried to find somewhere to spend the time. He said: “When I tested positive at Burtonwood, I asked the army guys who were there ‘what happens now?’ “They put their hands up and said, ‘we don’t know’.”

Lorry driver confronted by 'rats as big as cats' while self-isolating in cabThe scene from his cab window while he was parked up in Liverpool

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At first he tried a parking area in Bootle, Merseyside, before heading to a nearby industrial area covered in rubbish.

He said: “I was sitting in the cab there for 14 to 15 hours. I had nowhere else to go. “The rats were as big as cats.

They were climbing up the wheels of the lorry, getting into the chassis and eating the wiring. “I was self-isolating in a lorry with no toilets and no washing facilities. I could go outside to take a pee but for anything else I just had to hold on.”

Lorry driver confronted by 'rats as big as cats' while self-isolating in cabHe is now self-isolating in a self-catering apartment in Liverpool city centre

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John, of Waringstown, County Armagh, spent another 16 hours spent at a nearby lorry park used by an Irish Sea freight ferry service.

After he posted about his situation online, offers of help came flooding in and people began bringing him food. Eventually he was directed back to Burtonwood services by the Road Haulage Association. He spent five hours there before accommodation was finally found on Thursday night.

A North West Ambulance Service crew took him to the self-catering Dream Apartments in Liverpool. Although ill with coronavirus symptoms, he says he is managing with the help of antibiotics which his doctor had prescribed him. He said: “It’s been a nightmare.

But I’m glad if it means other drivers will not have to go through what I went through, and they’ll test everybody before they leave Northern Ireland.”

John said the online response “blew my mind”, adding: “It really is humbling and my faith in humanity has been restored.”

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